The Week in Viral: Marg(ar)inal

A viral try from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter got some love (registration) from Stuart Elliott of The Times this week, and for dubious reasons. Sure, the Unilever brand is a longtime broadcast marketer, but well, that’s sort of the problem isn’t it? The serialized Flash cartoons, which play on familiar soap opera tropes, offer the safe, watered-down comedy you expect from a mass-market TV spot. Note to marketers: successful online viral is about more than making a longer television ad. All due respect to Seinfeld and Superman.

Old and new: Whirlpool tries to tap into American family archetypes with a new podcast series.

Lynx deodorant: You punch keys on your keyboard, and a disembodied pair of lips moans in various expressions of ecstasy. Sex sells, in case you hadn’t heard. Except when visitors can’t click through and leave after 10 seconds because they’re bored. Hey, at least it’s interactive.

Virgin Mobile continues the diabolical combination of religious themes and no-commitment phone plans that worked so well for it during the holiday season. The Fallon-created Paygoism Saves site uses an Oddcast-created preacher avatar named Reggie to delineate the precepts of pay-as-you-go. Southern Baptist all the way.

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